Thursday, April 29, 2010

Better day

I just wanted to post real quick that I had a better day today. While I've accepted that there will be up and down moments, a roller coaster of emotions, if you will, I can't say that I've completely learned to incorporate life and grief together as one. I believe that will take time and I believe that it is normal for me to have to get used to living with grief and random emotions. I am stumbling around a bit, as my grief is still fresh. I am just taking each moment as it comes, happy or sad, and allowing myself to feel each emotion as it comes. One thing for sure that remains constant is I can never be sad in remembering Lilly, just sad she is no longer with us. But I don't regret carrying her to term, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, even knowing that I could not keep her here with us.

A fellow coworker and dear friend suggested I look up this song today and I did. I love the lyrics! It sums up perfectly how I can still praise God through this difficult time in my life. Though its hard to fully understand, when I'm lost that's when I turn to Him the most. I trust in Him and have faith in Him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Two Month mark #2

Today has been such an emotional day. On top of being 2 months to the day that Lilly left us to be with our Heavenly Father, I also returned to work. I know many who do not understand what this feels like may think 2 months is enough time to be able to return back to work, and it is in a way, but in a way it isn't. I will never be fully healed, so now I must learn to live my life, all aspects, work included with my grief.
I wish I could say that today I felt great and it was good getting back to work. I CAN say that my job is awesome, the women there are amazing, supportive and most importantly compassionate so I am grateful that I have such a great working environment to return to.That being said, I can't lie, it has been an emotionally hard day, as expected. I am going to be sad and that is OK. I am OK with carrying my grief. This song "Breakeven" is about a breakup but these words I feel are so true on days that I am really sad from missing Lilly.

"I'm still alive, but I'm barely breathing
And no wise words gonna stop the bleeding
Cause I got time, while she got freedom
And when a heart breaks it don't break even"

So true on my heartwrenching days. Some moments are harder than others, and last longer sometimes than others. I am not asking anyone to get down here with me on those days. And I know this blog is dedicated to getting Lilly's life story out there as its such a positive one through what is a heartbreaking diagnosis, but I also use it to cope. It doesn't mean my whole life is consumed by my grief, just that this is an outlet for that. As I will write when I have better days than today. I live my life taking in every precious moment I can with my living children. I read stories every night, sing to them, play, dance, be silly, hang out, talk with. I live for my children all of them. They are the strength that helps me through. That and the strength of our Lord of course.
I am trying to move forward or move through life with my newfound position in life due to losing Lilly. A part of my heart broke the day she left us and it will always remain just that, broken. I'm not asking to be fixed. You can't fix my broken heart. The pain is a reminder that she was here and that she was very real.

Two months ago today we held you one last time
Two months ago today, you were brought to His hand
Two months ago today, I said goodbye when you could not stay
Two months ago today, I told you if you needed to go that it was ok

I miss you more and more each day but live my life to the fullest
I cherish each moment that passes as if it were my last
Though the pain grief brings is at times overwhelming
I wouldn’t trade it for the world for that would be unbearable

I love and miss you so much that it often makes me cry
Know that these tears are sometimes uncontrollable but I don’t question why
For I know that you did great things while you were here with us
And I wait for the day where I can once again see my Lilly bear in the arms of Jesus

love and prayers

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Threads of Hope 1&2-Walking With You Part 1

To read previous posts on Walking With You, please click here: Walking With You.

Walking With You is an outreach of
Sufficient Grace Ministries, led by Kelly Gerken. We are a group of mothers who have lost a baby or child. We gather together from different places on our journey, each month to share our stories, to encourage, and pray for one another as we walk this path together. Our hope is that you will be comforted when you join us here...and maybe that we can offer some grace for the journey as we look to the Lord for comfort and strength.

Lesson 1: "Your Story"

Lilly Elizabeth was our 4th child. We found she had anencephaly at 21 1/2 weeks gestation. Although anencephaly is an NTD that is "incompatible with life" we got to see and get to know Lilly outside the womb for 6 days, 5 hours, and 30 minutes. Our hospital experience was awesome. We've delivered our other 3 children there and LOVE it! We didn't know what to expect this time around, but we were treated graciously and with such kindness. The staff went out of their way to allow our other 3 children to meet Lilly Elizabeth not one day but two days despite their restrictions due to flu season. We didn't make ANY arrangements prior to Lilly passing because we wanted to focus on her living. With the exception of choosing the funeral home and giving the funeral director a heads up on our situation. We did not have a memorial service for Lilly. We had a private mini viewing for a handful of family members and then we had a grave side service that was given by the priest at my church. We had the picture of Lilly located at the top of her blog blown up and placed on an easel at the ceremony. We had gone to the flower shop that morning to pick out a lilly to put on her arrangment and they only had ONE lily open which just happened to be YELLOW which was the color of the dress we were burying her in.

Lesson 2: "So Many Question"

1. Where do I go to find the truth?

We did an online search the day we found out about Lilly's diagnosis. I read stories of other families who had gone through the same journey at anencephalie-info. The website also had information on anencephaly and we found it very helpful.

We asked my doctor questions and he answered them to the best of his ability. He was hopeful in that he said he has seen babies with anencephaly last weeks and even mothers who got to take their babies home.

I joined a support group on yahoo called AnencephalyBlessingsFromAbove where I met and discussed with many moms going through the same journey or who have been through the same journey of delivering a baby with anencephaly. This group was where I felt satisfied I got most of my answers.

Ps. 19:7-10 reminds us that the Lord's plan is perfect and that he makes no mistakes.

II Tim 3:16-17 that the Bible was written from the word of God and that we should turn to the bible for help so that we may be equipped to handle what it is we are needing assistance in dealing with in our lives. When we feel lost we should turn to His word for inspiration and guidance.

2. Where does life come from?

Gen. 2:7 In this verse God is giving man life by forming him from dust and breathing into him life.

Ps. 139:13-16 I believe this is saying God knows us and our life's journey before we are formed in the womb. He knows all and knew that Lilly's time on earth was going to be limited and that I would carry this child that I would be returning to Him so soon. He knew us before we knew ourselves.

Is. 46 3-4

He will carry me
He will carry you
He carries us all, through it all

He sustains us and will do so as long as we shall live, through trials and tribulations, heartache and loss of a child or loved one. He carried me through this journey with Lilly Elizabeth and He will carry me long after. Through sickness and fatal diseases, He will see me through it all. He will see us all through whatever life may put us through.

I believe God carried and sustained Lilly from conception to the point of her return to Heaven. He was with her up until the moment she left her body to be with Him.

3. Why was my baby to weak to live?

This question is actually perfect for today. I've lately been somewhat blaming myself for what happened to Lilly because in the end it was MY body that failed her. Reading John 9:1-11 states that the man who was born blind was not born this way for the sin of his parents. Therefore, according to this I can not blame myself for sins I may have committed or for my body failing Lilly. It was no fault of the parents. The man was born blind so that God could work through him. I believe part of Lilly's purpose was to have God work through her as well as through our family. This confirms it, though I am not sure I can't stop blaming myself fully.

II Cor. 12:9 I believe this says that we may not always get the answers we want. We may not always be spared the pain from a loss such as ours, but He is with us always, and will carry us through so we can lean on Him through our despair and sorrow.

Mt. 18:8b I believe this verse is stating that it is better to walk through our lives crippled for whatever reason, grief, loss of limb, and live righteously for the Lord, than to live life without being crippled and without our Lord and be thrown into the depths of hell.

I believe this verse also makes it clear that eternal is more important to our Lord than the physical aspects we so richly and quickly cling to.

To be continued....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog Award


I got a blog award and thought I would post it. Thanks to Holly at Caring For Carleigh. Holly's daughter Carleigh Mckenna was diagnosed with anencephaly. Carleigh was due April 17, 2009 and went to be with our Lord on March 28, 2009.

The rules of this award are:
1. copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. list who gave the award to you and use a link to her/his blog (or hyperlink).
3. list 10 things that make you happy.
4. pass the award on to other bloggers

Ok, in no particular order, here are 10 things (besides the obvious God and family) that make me happy…

1) Starbuck's coffee - its an indulgence I allow myself every now and then-my favorite flavor is White Chocolate Mocha

2) Hot baths – It’s relaxing, I like to light candles and turn the lights off, play music or not, and just lay my head back with a warm wash cloth over my eyes

3) Reading a good book-I love to read

4) Doing my nails, either professionally or at home. We have nail day with the kids where I cut their nails (the boy's) and paint mine and my oldest daughter's nails.

5) Rice Krispy treats-yum!!!

6) Shopping - its rare but I love it!!!

7) Hugs-I love giving and receiving hugs.

8) Writing poems and songs-its a good outlet for my emotions

9) Journaling-I have my own personal and one for each of the FOUR of my children.

10) Singing-to my kids at night or just in the car or at home when I'm by myself.

And now here are people I am passing it on to:
Cynthia @ Our Journey for Olivia Ryan
Mama Melissa @ Amelia Grace Lorang
Hannah Rose @ Hannah Rose
Jennifer @ Eli's Valley
Franchesca @ Handprints from Heaven
Kristin @ Once a Mother
Lisette @ Sami's Blog
Mary @ The Youngs

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My point of view on Faith

A comment I left on this blog in response to Lori's post of "Heavy Stuff"

Lori, I hope you don't mind. I feel the questions you were so willing to post for everyone are ones most are faced with everyday. In responding to your post, I also ended up giving my point of view on our journey with Lilly so I wanted to share that point of view with the readers of Lilly's blog so they may gain a better understanding of one; where I am on my journey, and two; my thought process throughout and faith throughout.

I applaud your honesty. I read all the comments and applaud everyone's point of view. I am not sure which camp I fall into. Our little Lilly passed away of Anencephaly 2/28/2010. She was born on 2/22/2010 given 2 hours to a day to live, and went on to live for 6 days 5 hours and 30 minutes. I don't believe that Our Lord did this to us or Lilly. I do believe God knows what is to happen, BUT I do not believe He does anything to us. I believe the choices we make determine our path and that path is ever changing due to our choices, HOWEVER, He knows what will happen with whatever choice we make. I hope that makes some sense. I do believe the tests and tribulations we are faced with are Satan trying to recruit us or to have us go against God. If you have ever noticed you could have a HAPPY day or a GREAT week and then one thing can happen that can take that happiness away, that's Satan trying to take that happiness from you. He hates happiness and love. I feel the happier you are, the harder he tries to take it from you. God does have the power to change our path, but that would go against him giving us free will in the first place. I do believe for us as humans it is beyond our understanding. Think of it this way, (I am Catholic, therefore a believer in Christ coming and dying for our sins.) God lost a child too, he sent Jesus to us KNOWING full well that his life would end when it did. But He still chose to send him. He had hope that His people with which He created would chose a different path, although they didn't. He still tried to save us. And so in the end the only way to save us was for Jesus to die for our sins. Again I think as a human we will never fully understand God's will or reasoning for our lives. I don't think we have that capability, if we did we wouldn't be here in the first place. I do believe there is a purpose for everything. I could easily have taken a dark path, and still could having just lost Lilly. I could get angry. But it won't bring her back to me and I don't want to associate bad feelings cause then that would mean Lilly being here was bad in some way and it wasn't. I prayed throughout my pregnancy and tried to live as good a life and make good choices while pregnant with Lilly. I still do to this day, I only want goodness to come from her being here. Though I do have my hard days, I won't lie. My requests were a lot but I asked for at least a week with her and got 6 days. I also asked for her to meet her siblings at least if anything and she did, she also met 50 people in her lifetime. I got something I didn't ask for and that was her nursing which she did TWO days after she was born. I wanted her to meet everyone that was willing, and she got to plus more. So that being said its hard for me to question in that most of my prayers and then some were answered. I don't know why they were. My biggest prayer for Him to take me instead and leave her here was not answered. Or to have her healed was not answered either. He doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want them to and I felt bad asking Him to save our little Lilly when I know other mothers have suffered losses of their own children so how dare I have the audacity to pray a selfish prayer. I feel that is what Faith is...its believing even when its hard. We can't see God, but we believe He exists. I think He does ask for blind faith, and we have the choice to give it to Him despite our trials and tribulations, or to turn our backs on Him. I also still to this day feel unworthy of the blessings He gave us while Lilly was here on earth. I hope and pray you find your answers, or at least some peace. This comment is only giving you my point of view in hopes that it will help you on your journey. I know this is a tough journey, that I wish NO ONE had to go through. I'm sorry that you are feeling this way, I wish there was something I could do. Let me end with a *hug*. And I am sorry this was so long.

love and prayers

Friday, April 23, 2010

Walking with You- Meeting Our Babies

Walking With You was created by Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. To join in on Walking With You please visit Kelly's blog.

We had scheduled my c-section for Monday, February 22. 2010 at 12:00. We arrived at the hospital at 10:00am. We were hoping for a non busy day for the hospital so that any restrictions the hospital may have had would have been easier to work around. The most important, being able to bring Lilly's siblings in to come meet her despite the H1N1 restrictions of NO CHILDREN being allowed to visit. As we didn't know what to expect and our time with Lilly was expected to be extremely limited, delivering on a slow day would have been ideal.

Unfortunately that was not the case. My c-section was not performed until around 2pm. Lilly didn't seem to like the monitors and kept kicking where they were at to get them off her. The nurse would find her heart rate and then Lilly would kick it off. This continued between Lilly and the nurse during the duration of our wait for the c-section. I was having regular contractions that made me confident had I not chosen the day for her delivery, it may have very well been that day anyway being that I usually deliver at 37-39 weeks and I was 2 days shy of being 39 weeks.

Our photographer Michelle from NILMDTS and Rachel's Gift, and Father Michael were both in the room with me and my husband Jim. God Bless them!!! They arrived close to 12:00 and had to wait with us. Patiently I might add, they were such good sports. I will be eternally grateful for their kindess and support during that time.

The thought of going through surgery was becoming more nerve racking with time. I was trying not to panic because I had chosen c-section for one reason, it gave Lilly a higher chance of being born alive!!!

The time finally came where it was time to go into surgery. It was hard and I panicked, because I didn't know what to expect but mostly because I was on my way to possibly saying Goodbye to my daughter!!! This was it, there was no turning back! I prayed until the end for the Lord to spare Lilly and take me instead. I would gladly have taken her place. I was not ready to say goodbye.

Lilly was born at 3:20pm. I was a little out of it but have been told by Dr. B and another Dr. and my husband that Lilly came out crying which is very unexpected with babies that have anencephaly. My husband had to administer a little oxygen to stimulate her breathing, but after that Lilly did not have any artificial assistance. We were not going to take any heroic measures to save her life as we just wanted her to be comfortable, and we felt that if we had gone that route, it would have made it harder to say goodbye and it could possibly have made it harder on her. We wanted her to stay with us but not at the expense of her feeling uncomfortable. We just couldn't bear her fighting to let go while we were fighting to keep her here with us. We just did not want to cause our daughter any unnecessary suffering.

My husband brought her to me and I just thought to myself "She is beautiful" Words can't describe just how beautiful she was. I could not take my eyes off of her. There are not enough words to express the joy I felt in that moment. It is worth a thousand plus words, which none could completely give justice to how special that moment was of meeting Lilly in person for the first time. Its a moment I will cherish for as long as I live!!!!

Lilly's siblings were brought in immediately along with family to meet her. I am so grateful to our Lord for that moment. All I really wanted was for us to be together as a family just once. For all of our children to hold her and kiss her and for Lilly to meet them. I couldn't have asked for more.

She was passed around from person to person. She was cooing and talking all throughout meeting our family and friends who had also waited so patiently to meet little Lilly. I hear stories that she talked with them and you can see in her pictures her mouth is open a lot as if she is talking to the person who is holding her. Lilly met about 30 family and friends the day she was born. My husband held her all night long.

Because Lilly was with us for several days, it would make this post extremely long to go into all the details of those days. We had visitors everyday some to meet Lilly and some who had met her but wanted to spend time with her while she was here. She spent time being held, fed, loved, played with by her siblings. She had a good life. Its too soon for me to post the night she passed away that will come in time. Again as always I appreciate you taking this journey with us. And the details of Lilly's life with us will be posted in the near future.

Lilly was given 2 hours to a day to live after birth. She gave us 6 days, 5 hours, and 30 minutes. And no, I don't get tired of saying that. I am so proud God chose me to be Lilly's mommy.

My advice for anyone going through the same journey is to just trust your feelings. Only you know what is right for you and your family. And what is right for you may not be right for another family. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for the choices you make as it is hard to make the decisions we as parents are faced with when choosing to carry a baby to term who we have been told will not live long after birth.

The keepsakes and the pictures we have as well as blankets Lilly used while she was alive all have helped. I suggest contacting NILMDTS (their link is located under the Click Here section of Lilly's blog). It is great to have those pictures and dvd to look at whenever I miss Lilly too much. They really do help.

love and prayers

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two Month mark #1

If Lilly were still alive, we would be celebrating her turning 2 months old. I know that to those of you who have not suffered a loss of a child it may seem odd or unhealthy even to listen to the moms who have lost a child celebrate or recognize these milestones. I want to keep the memory of our daughter Lilly alive. There's nothing wrong with that. Thinking of her, talking about her, makes her real and as alive as she'll ever be with us here on earth, being that her time was cut short. For those of you who thought about us today, we appreciate it. Words can never express our gratitude to those of you who have stood by us. My baby would have been 2 months old today. The title is #1 because in 6 days we will hit the 2 month mark from the day that she left us to be with our heavenly Father.

I'd like to share a poem I wrote for Lilly today:

It has been two months since our little Lilly Bear was born, but with us she could not stay
We lost a piece of our hearts the day our Lilly went away
During her time with us, all she knew was Love
Our precious little miracle, sent from up above
She was peaceful and content and brought love to everyone she met
We will carry Lilly with us and what she taught us we will never forget
She opened my heart to more than anyone will ever know or understand
And I cherish how I felt when she held my finger in her little hand
I wished for one more day and got six days instead
And although I see only curves and bumps in the road of life up ahead
One thing I know for sure is my darling daughter little Lilly
Will always have with her a special part of me

love and prayers

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Some say you are too painful to remember, I say you are too PRECIOUS to forget!"

I feel that no parent should be told to "move on" or "life goes on" regardless the intention its like telling them to forget their child. We are so obviously reminded that life goes on in the fact that the world keeps spinning, moments keep happening, some of us like me have living children to take care of. That being said, please don't remind us of that FACT. We know that life carries on whether anyone lives or dies, it is the natural way of things, but we really don't need to be reminded of that as we are so constantly reminded just being here, surviving our children. I am surprised at how many people pass judgments on parents who have lost children. Its barely been 2 months since Lilly passed and I've already had several people tell me to "move on" or that I have to still do things and carry on. I've had people tell me "you have 3 living children to keep you busy" regardless of their intention NONE of my children are replaceable. I know these people don't really know what to say and want to help in any way they can, so I try not to hold it against anyone. Also when faced with these comments I tell them its ok for me to miss Lilly, I am always going to miss her, I am always going to have good days and hard days. And that's ok. What can they really say to that? They can't really try and talk me out of grieving for my child. Just remember that we as surviving parents are in PAIN, a part of us always will be, and that is ok.

I copied this off Jessica Szydelko's memorial webpage.

Jessica Szydelko was born asleep on June 17, 2005

"I'm going to tell you something I hope you'll never have to know. I'll tell you how a heart can break & tears can constant flow. I lost my baby girl you see, an Angel in my eyes. God chose to take her hand one day & led her to the skies. But please do not forget my child she was a person too, And forever she will live inside of me & you. So, please don't ever tell me that time will heal my pain, Because not even time can bring her back again. Just tell me she is happy in that land way up above. She's snuggled in an Angel's wings all wrapped in her mummy's love"

I took this off a mother's blog that I am following. I hope she doesn't mind, but she said it perfectly. Her blog link is attached. She is a wonderful woman, with a lot of strength.

"If there is one truth in all of this, it is that once you have lost a child (or your dreams of a child) regardless of how long you had them with you, a part of you dies. That doesn't mean you stop living or that you don't appreciate what you have. It doesn't mean you never see the beauty in life around you, or that you refuse to go on to spite the world. It means just what it means, that a part of you dies, and as that part dies off, other parts of you are born, and somewhere along the way you try to mesh the two and find your new place in a world that you never wanted to know existed, and that is not something that you can do according to anyone else's timetable."

I completely agree. A piece of my heart is gone. That piece of my heart will ALWAYS be broken. And can NEVER be replaced, or fixed, or healed. And I don't want it to. I'm not going to forget my daughter. 2 months or YEARS from now she will always be a part of me, of our family. She doesn't have to be remembered by others, were not asking them to remember her. But don't tell us we need to forget or "move on" or "get over it" This is a LIFE were talking about, not insignificant like falling and scraping our knees.

As Long As I Live You Will Live
As Long As I Live You Will Be Remembered
As Long As I Live You Will Be Loved..

One More Day

This song is one of the two songs that I listened religiously to throughout my pregnancy with Lilly. Below are the lyrics and below the lyrics is the video. We had Michelle, our friend and photographer from NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep) and Rachel's Gift make our DVD of Lilly's pictures to this song. She did an amazing job!!! The song depicts exactly the emotions we felt throughout our never ending journey with having Lilly Elizabeth as our daughter.

“One More Day"

I’ll never get to hold you
I’ll never hear your sweet voice sing
I’ll never get to say ‘I told you so’
I’ll never read to you, or get to teach you anything

But you’ll always be my hope
You’ll always be my first light
You’re always gonna be daddy’s little girl
You’ll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
I only wish for one more day

I’m gonna miss your first day of school
I’ll never see you turn that page
I’ll never see you in your graduation gown
And I’m never gonna see you coming of age

But you’ll always be my hope
You’ll always be my first light
You’re always gonna be mommy’s little girl
You’ll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
I only wish for one more day

Sweet angel of mercy
Coming down to comfort me
Faith, sit right here beside me
I never want you to go away

I’m always gonna wonder how you’d look
Always gonna wish I took your place up there

You’ll always be our hope
You’ll always be our first light
You’re always gonna be our little girl
You’ll always be the strength we need to make it in this world
We only wish for one more day

We only wish for one more day

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Finality of the Ending of my Pregnancy

I wanted to keep this blog about Lilly and her story. Not about me. I wanted to keep this blog on a positive note. But I feel compelled to post today. That being said I had an EMOTIONAL day today. Woke up crying as our 4 year old daughter held me and just let me cry. My hubby was working and was not home this morning.
I had to attend a meeting for work and it was a room full of mostly people that I didn't know. And for some reason I found it overwhelming and I just started crying. Luckily a friend was there and sadly she's been through the loss of a baby as well and she helped me by just telling me to "breathe" just "breathe" Ok wait, let me start from the beginning.
Today was my six week check up from having my c-section. Everything is fine. I had LOTS of questions about the POSSIBLE not yet decided future. My husband and I have decided to wait a year before we make the decision to STOP having children. We don't want to make any impulsive or rash decisions if were not ready. The finality of the end of my pregnancy was today in that it was the six week check up. I am done with all my check ups since being pregnant with Lilly :(.
Today I was blaming myself. In a way you might ask, why? Natural reaction would be to tell me its not my fault and I know no good can come from this. I would tell any mom feeling this way that its not her fault. And I know to a HUGE degree it isn't...but I can't help but feel somewhat responsible. Perhaps its the fact that I couldn't save my daughter and that's what a parent, a mother is SUPPOSED to do. To protect her child. Perhaps it is the choices I made or lack of something I didn't do. Didn't eat enough, rest enough, take enough vitamins. Something I drank, ate, or medicine I took for pain. I know it won't bring her back.
I felt SOOO Guilty today as we have not decided to have more but the fact that I was just asking in case we did decide just made me feel like I was betraying Lilly. I have no rushed desire or rushed urge to get pregnant right still hurts too much. The wound is still too fresh. But today I felt for a split second that if I found out I was pregnant (not possible at this time) the thought made me feel excited. And I felt horrible because in a way I feel I am shoving her memory to the side. No possible future child or our 3 living children can replace Lilly that was not what I thought today. Each child in our family is special in their own way and we love each dearly and equally!
I don't think of this as God punishing me. No I still feel that He blessed us with our little miracle and now angel Lilly Elizabeth, and am honored He chose us to be her parents. I just can't help feeling this way today. And I know its one of those days. Other days I won't be as hard on myself. Its the ups and downs of missing my little Lilly :*(.
I'm not gonna lie, it hurts like HELL, it really does. I just didn't want to post such negative feelings. I didn't want to associate negative with Lilly someone who just brought so much light and positiveness and joy to everyone she met.
But I have to be honest with how I feel. Sure I can just not post this and leave it at that, but as I said I felt compelled to post this.
I'd be a liar if I said I didn't have lots of days where I was just overcome with sadness...A PARENT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO OUTLIVE ANY OF THEIR CHILDREN!!! And I don't mean that angrily just emphasizing it. I am so overcome with sadness today :*(, words can't express it.
And to be honest, I'm not used to being the crier. Not that anything is wrong with it. I cry only around those I completely trust and even then I feel stupid for doing so. I always feel silly when I cry. I'm used to comforting others and its so hard to be on this end, I'm not sure I know how.
A fellow blogger wrote on her page that she saw on someone else's blog "don't make her death bigger than her life" and that was so perfectly worded. I don't know who to give the credit to for that but it just sums it up. I've been trying to do that, but I do have moments/days such as today and that's ok too. Its ok to mourn the loss of her life. I think happily about Lilly's life and can be happy thinking of her most of the time, but I still get sad. Sad only because I miss her so much, words can't begin to express the depth of how much I miss our Lilly Elizabeth!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Kiss For Lilly

I have a matching bracelet set that was given to me and Lilly by a dear friend and coworker. The one for Lilly was placed on her right wrist by my husband the day we laid her body to rest. My husband then placed my matching bracelet on my right wrist. I wear the bracelet everyday. Our bracelets did have matching hearts, though mine sadly has fallen off and disappeared. I keep hoping it will pop up. If not I plan to replace it with a charm that may have her footprints made on it or find a similar heart to the original that was on my bracelet to match the one still on Lilly's wrist.
We were tucking in our youngest son who is 2 years old and he occasionally gives kisses to the bracelet and says he's kissing Lilly. The kids know the significance of the bracelet. He has kissed the bracelet before, but tonight he said "love you, love you" Lilly. In our bedtime routine we do the sign for "I love you" on both hands and wiggle our fingers with our children's fingers. It was created by our oldest daughter and my husband and became a family tradition at bedtime.
It just means so much when the kids talk about Lilly and include her in our day. He made my day by remembering her and wanting to send her kisses and "love you love you's". I almost cried right on the spot. He became an older brother when we found out we were pregnant with Lilly and he remembers her. He always gave her kisses all the time she was alive, he would just come up and kiss her and be soooooo gentle. He was always gentle with her even when he tickled her :). They all were gentle with her.
Kids are amazing, they are so precious!!! God's greatest gifts. I'm glad He shared Lilly with us. I feel our family was truly blessed to have been given the chance to meet and hold Lilly even for a short while. Those moments were worth the 9 months of carrying her. And we will always treasure and be grateful for those 6 days 5 hours and 30 minutes we were all given. And now nothing can take that away :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

NILMDTS Pictures!!!!

We got the CD/DVD of pictures taken at Lilly's birth by our NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) Photographer. She did a wonderful job!!! It was so exciting to get more pictures of her. My husband and I were of course in tears watching the DVD of pictures set to the song One More Day by Rocket Club. Again, I want to say; AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING!!
She did so well at capturing our little angel. Words can not describe how grateful we are to have keepsakes such as photos of Lilly, especially when we can't hold our angel today. :*(.
The kids got to see the DVD this afternoon and we let them watch it three times as they kept requesting to view it over and over. They get so excited seeing pictures of Lilly; I do as well. There is a picture of my husband and his little girls and its just such a beautiful picture. Each one is my favorite in so many ways.
With the collection of photos I plan to scrap book them and make albums as well. There are so many projects I want to be able to work on but they will take time as I am going to be returning to the work force soon. But that's ok if they take a lifetime as anything I can do regarding Lilly will help me keep her memory alive and it will help me as far as missing my sweet angel.
As time goes by I miss her MORE and MORE which may not seem possible to those who have fortunately not lost a child, but it happens. Time will not heal this wound, but I wouldn't want it to. As I have said before, I want to remember her and if the pain of missing Lilly means remembering her, then that's what I'll do for my lifetime. For those of you who are willing and have been willing to take this journey with us thank you. We are very grateful to not be forgotten. And words could never express the gratitude I have for those of you not wanting to forget Lilly by still talking about her and not "moving on" as she did exist and her life meant a LOT!!! Its more painful when people don't acknowledge she was a part of our lives. Its a pain that will hurt forever, a forever pain as I call it. Nothing will change that. Yes we are aware that life goes on and we have other children here still with us we have to be there for. We have not forgotten that. We take care of what needs to be done and we still laugh and smile and interact with the world especially our living children. We just miss Lilly at the same time and that's OK and should be understandable.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First Holiday

Easter was our first holiday without Lilly. :*( Such a beautiful Holiday, celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior. The anticipation leading up to Easter Sunday was unbearable at times. I could not even discuss possible plans as it just made me cry uncontrollably.
We ended up spending the day at my in laws house with my sister in law her husband and my two nephews. It was a fun day spent coloring eggs, preparing the meal, egg hunting and just hanging out playing with the kids.
The anticipation was a lot more tear filled than the actual day but that's also due to being kept busy by the children and all the activities. I did have moments off and on where I cried and one BIG cry after my father in law said the prayer over our meal. I just started to shake and excused myself, went into the other room and cried HARD, I think the hardest I've cried since. I felt bad for leaving at that time and I knew the kids needed me but I couldn't help it. I also cried preparing the Easter baskets knowing one was missing.
Since we were out of town, we had visited Lilly's graveside and gave her her easter gift the night before. I actually got to visit three times. We first went as a family but the two younger kids were sleeping. So our youngest woke up on the way home and asked to see Lilly so we stopped again. Finally our oldest daughter woke up and asked to visit Lilly so on our way out of town we stopped and visited her. This was at night. Our first time visiting at night. My husband wasn't with us but he's been several times at night. I thought it was really amazing that our oldest daughter who is 4 wanted to visit her sister's grave even in the dark. It was peaceful. I found myself saying "I'm sorry" to Lilly as I took a moment for myself alone to say goodbye to her. I don't know why I said "I'm sorry" I think I felt bad going out of town. I cried hard then too. And as we were heading out of town.
My mother in law and I had a great conversation about Lilly. She told me that people tell her she's an inspiration cause she talks about Lilly and is so positive about her. That made me feel so good to hear that my mother in law still talks about her. She said that in a garden that her work planted in honor of a coworker who lost her life in a car accident recently they had planted a Lily Tree and are going to put a stake there someday in honor of Lilly. It was amazing..we cried and I hugged her and I said its good crying. I cry now even as I type this. Which I haven't really had time for lately as its been so busy at home. I feel like I haven't had time to grieve as silly as that sounds. I always think of Lilly and we all talk about her everyday its just a little different. But I think its also the time. Sometimes it will be hard to get out of bed, other times I'll be too busy that I have no choice but to get out of bed and keep moving. I'm happy when I think of Lilly. I am just sad she's not here with us but I'm happy she's in a better place.
I had a peace at Easter, almost like the day we buried Lilly's body or "vessel" as my husband has said. I imagined I'd be a mess and there was a calm over me. I think that was God and Lilly. They're always with me. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and share in Lilly's story.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Skate Night

The kids and I went skating this evening. I'm glad we did. Lilly being here has helped loosen me up about things like that. I used to avoid going out anywhere with all three children by myself. Even if we were meeting friends. Now, I'm game for it cause you just never know what tomorrow may bring. She has taught me how short life truly can be and to not take one moment for granted. It was a chance for fun and I took it for me and for the children. We made a memory tonight!! Skating was super fun!!! I haven't been skating in such a long time, I think the last time was probably maybe high school, but not at a skating rink since I was a kid. It was fun!!! I can't believe I even remembered how to skate. It was like riding a bike, a little shaky but I got the hang of it. My emotions were a bit shaky as well, I did almost shed tears while skating, bittersweet tears. But it was all ok. It's ok to smile, to laugh, to cry, its ok to feel it all at once too. There will always be moments like that.
I even got to skate backwards. We met up with friends of ours and their kids and hung out for the evening. It was awesome!!! I felt Lilly was with us watching us at times and that made the night even better. I know that she won't get to skate with us but just knowing that she can see us is a great feeling and being able to feel her with us.
We brought a camera with us but right when we got there it got dropped and broke so no pictures of the youngest two's first time at a skating rink. They have skated with their little skates that my mom bought them inside our home, but not at an actual skating rink. I like how there is a place for the slower skaters so that the younger two were able to skate freely.
They are so independent...they both did not want to hold hands and skated pretty good. Our oldest daughter was off on her own and far ahead of me when not with friends. Our youngest son soon followed suit. I am so glad that we had such a great night!! Thank you to our friends who were so amazing and helpful I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I could not have done it without y'all (all of you!)
I am probably going to be so SORE later but it was well worth it. Thanks for the great advice (you know who you are) about alternating ice pack and heating pad on my incision area or stomach muscles as they are still healing :). To my darling youngest daughter Lilly, it was an amazing night and its nice to know that you are there with us. I love you and will ALWAYS think of you daily and especially when we have moments as a family like tonight!!! You are LOVED and ALWAYS in our hearts!!! Even your oldest older brother mentioned you tonight, so you are definitely thought of as you well know.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Emotional Morning

I can say today is very emotional. I was trying to talk about a subject with one of my framily (friend who has become family) members and I just had to stop. It was too hard to even talk about. She did good though, we were texting and while I cried she changed the subject and started texting about something different, which was perfect for me. She also let me cry so that was helpful too. She just waited patiently while I cried and didn't say anything to make me feel better. Which is what I needed.
It was about the approaching first holiday without Lilly. I can't type much about it without ending up crying uncontrollably again. I just wanted to show that though I am mostly ok I do have moments where I am overwhelmed with sadness and it gets hard to talk about certain things even though other times I can talk about whatever. I feel I will go through this off and on throughout the rest of my life. Its soooo hard. I wish I could tell the moms who unfortunately are going to go through this that it is easy. Its not. And I know that sounds discouraging. I felt that way when other moms told me the same thing before we lost Lilly. I do still welcome the sadness. Missing her is ok cause she matters. It sucks it really does. There's no one perfect thing to say to make it all better. I just know that leaning on God and my family has helped me. Support is a great thing to have. You can't, I can't go through this alone and I don't want to. Typing this is even hard to do without setting off the tears. I allow the tears. Its getting harder to cry quietly. I just allow the tears cause that's all I can do...fighting them won't help me. Acknowledging them is what will if anything. It doesn't go away and it is strong and overwhelming at times. But just like there are times like those, there are times of happiness and joy. I feel like I can't really give advice since I'm so new to the world of grieving on this level. I just can only speak from my heart and be as open as I can. The first holiday will be a sad time without Lilly. I also will make sure that our three living children have a great holiday. I can say that it won't be without tears from me...but I guess the only thing to do is to welcome those moments when they come, take a minute, compose myself and keep on going. I hope this entry wasn't too discouraging, it was not my intention. Just know there are times of great sadness. When I look at a picture of Lilly or remember a time we had with her I smile and feel good. The sadness is from missing her. I miss her soooo much!


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